Life is, well it’s just life right now and not terribly exciting. I’m finishing up a business plan, doing a very late spring clean (the piles everywhere were threatening to eat me alive), amongst other boring menial tasks that need tackling. Naturally, my impulse is to run away, so I’m feeling nostalgic about
the lake house. While I’m trapped in reality, I thought I’d share my favorite escape with you again…
When my world turns upside down

When my world turns upside down

For the past 17 years there has been one place I’ve known I can escape to. A place where life seems so much less complex. A place filled with happy memories of gathering with family and friends, sailing, fishing, tubing, water skiing (or at least attempts at it), watching fireworks over the water, picnics, biking, walking, rummaging through antique shops, and going to lots of movies on rainy days. I’ve come here to get my head on straight when life has turned my world upside down, and left ready to tackle the world.
The view from the house

The view from the house

I’m looking out over my favorite view from my parents’ lake house as I write this…possibly for the last time. Tatjana is busy working on films in London these days, the twins are wanting to spend longer at camp in the summer, and Mom and Dad are tired of the upkeep, so they put the house on the market.
Tatjana with friends Ashley, Lacey, and Nicole

Tatjana with friends Ashley, Lacey, and Nicole

I’m sad. It signals the end of an era. Watching my daughter’s delight over running freely through the neighborhood with her friends (in contrast to her life in London) every summer. Young girls I watched grow into young women. She learned to ride a bike, sail, fish, and had her birthday parties here year after year.
The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa

The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa

Bowling at Lake Lanes

Bowling at Lake Lanes

There were concerts at the Surf Ballroom where Buddy Holly played his last concert, the antique car shows, and the Hobo convention in nearby Britt. Picking strawberries at Furlieghs Farm, and the Northern Iowa state fair. Bowling at Lake Lanes, and cinnamon rolls at PM Park where my parents and all their friends would gather on weekends after riding bikes around the lake.
Malts at Corner Drug

The old opera house – now the cinema, and Corner Drug

Main Street

Main Street

Old Victorian homes

Old Victorian homes

I’ll miss the old Victorian homes, and charm of Main Street… when we first came here you could go to drive-in movies, eat at drive-in restaurants, and have a root beer float at the Corner Drug store. A place where a slice of my own childhood still existed. A time life seemed so simple. A place that will live forever in my heart and fond memories.
They say “all good things must come to an end”. I will find a new place to recharge my batteries when they run low, but I will never forget my favorite corner of Iowa…or the smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls at PM Park.
Cinnamon Rolls PM Park Style
Cinnamon roll
Servings: 12
For dough:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
For filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup raisins, optional
for icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
For dough:
1). Heat 1/2 cup milk, water, and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until warm. Pour into the pan of your bread machine and add remaining ingredients in the order suggested by the machine’s manufacturer. Select dough cycle. Press start.
For filling:
2). When cycle is finished, remove the dough and punch down. Roll into a large rectangle on a floured surface, and smear with softened butter. Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the buttered dough. If desired, sprinkle raisins evenly over the top.
3). Roll dough into a log, starting with the long side. Cut into 12 equal slices. Place slices on a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm part of the kitchen to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
4). Bake rolls in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and cool 5-10 minutes before icing.
For icing:
5). Mix powdered sugar, softened butter, and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and milk, and mix until thick but spreadable. Once rolls have cooled slightly, spread evenly over the top, and serve rolls while still warm and gooey.
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  • August 26, 2009
    5:41 pm

    Great Post Jewels! I think this has been my favorite one so far.

  • August 27, 2009
    12:15 am

    Thank you once again for sharing a part of your life. This time, the tears did swell and I did get quite emotional (a very weak aussie mom here). You can only look to the future now but you can never forget the past and those loving memories this special place has held (what a beautiful part of the states). Time to put your feet up,relax,reflect and enjoy what tomorrow will bring.Aussie mum (mom)- Melbourne, Australia

  • August 27, 2009
    12:56 am

    Thanks Jeff! I'm sorry I made tears swell Aussie Mom. I admit I've shed a couple, and I'm surprised by it too…I don't normally get attached to houses. I've been a gypsy for so long that home has always been in my heart. But the view (both literally and figuratively) is so special from there that it has been this traveler's North star. I'm sure I will find another.

  • August 28, 2009
    3:24 am

    I loved the blog. It was lovely but sad. Mom oxoxoxox

  • August 29, 2009
    2:17 am

    cinnamon roll heaven.

  • October 28, 2009
    11:46 am

    my dad is coming to visit this weekend.his favorite food in the world is cinnamon rolls with raisins, so this weekend he'll have a chance to taste your recipie:)as far as missing that house on the lake, I have one you can use to fill that void. anytime……..Kathi

  • August 6, 2013
    9:52 am

    This choked me up and I was steaming mad today so it came at the right time. I hope the home found a new family that will be gifted with a place like that for a long time. What a wonderful place to have had in your life.

    Cinnamon rolls are a very guilty pleasure and this recipe looks like a must try!

  • August 6, 2013
    7:11 pm

    Oh I remember reading this blog….it seems like not long ago…..I can’t believe it was in 2009. How time flies!
    Oh Jewels… need to go out and pamper yourself. Massage, retail therapy it always seems to make me feel good (although since having Jack 17mnths ago now I have been far too busy….he is so much work)!
    If it makes you feel any better….I too have piles in places I don’t need. September is shaping up to be a huge spring cleaning month .

  • August 7, 2013
    3:29 am

    My husband’s family has a house at the beach that has been in his family for more than 30 years. I feel the exact same way about that place as you do about the lake house – it’s place where we can escape the city, wind down, and just relax. And like your lake house, the town also has a main street, bowling alley, diner, movie theatre, farms where you can buy fresh produce…it’s a real slice of small town living, so totally different from our hectic life in the city!

    Recently, my in-laws have also been talking about how the upkeep is starting to be too much for them because they are getting older. We help as much as we possibly can when we are there – it is within driving distance so we spend a lot weekends there. We’ve also told them if they ever do decide to sell it, to please let us know so we have first shot at it and can keep it in the family if at all possible.

  • August 7, 2013
    9:16 am

    Oh, yum! The fact that these require yeast and are an actual bread item makes it a bit daunting to attempt (I have varied luck with bread making), but wow, I want one of those cinnamon rolls.

    I know what you mean about having someplace to go to unwind or recharge. I think at the moment that place is anywhere w/ my family (we tend to go places for vacations together, last year it was Lake George, NY and it was awesome). This Summer I’ve been volunteering w/ my mom with the KC Rose Society and learning how to prune/maintain roses by helping at a public park rose garden that they maintain.

  • August 7, 2013
    9:18 am

    Looks like a perfect place to recharge,only I am looking for some solitude abroad,some travel to explore. Never been to europe, and would love to recharge and be inspired. My parents had beautiful property our in a place like your Iowa. It was in Montana, a resort town,lodging, and gorgeous lakes. They now live in Texas,on a horse ranch, w plenty of acres,and when you sit by the pool, you can hear the birds chirping, watch the horses, and enjoy the scenery. They also live by the lake, and near the nature center. Reading your blog,was just what I needed today, so thank you kindly.